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y separately published work icon An Imaginary Life : A Novel single work   novel  
  • Author:agent David Malouf http://www.poetrylibrary.edu.au/poets/malouf-david
Issue Details: First known date: 1978... 1978 An Imaginary Life : A Novel
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'In prose that is both elegant and lyrical, David Malouf departs from the little-known facts of Ovid's exile beyond the pale of civilization to create a deeply moving novel of extraordinary beauty. An outcast in a vast wasteland at the edge of the Black Sea, Ovid discovers a feral child. As he teaches the boy to speak the language of the civilized world, the child tutors him in his own tongue, the language of nature, and the once barren landscape begins to resonate with meaning.' (Publisher's blurb)

Exhibitions

7438642

Adaptations

An Imaginary Life Kim Carpenter , 1986 single work drama

A stage adaptation of David Malouf's novel about the friendship between the exiled Ovid and a feral child.

Notes

  • Dedication: To Christopher.
  • Other formats: Also braille, sound recording.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      George Braziller ,
      1978 .
      image of person or book cover 2856691582690114612.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online
      Extent: 154p.
      Reprinted: 1978 ,
      ISBN: 090760884X
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Chatto and Windus ,
      1978 .
      image of person or book cover 6675743643663189995.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online
      Extent: 154p.
      Reprinted: 1993
      ISBN: 0701123664
      • Publisher: Pan
      Sydney, New South Wales,: Pan , 1980 .
      image of person or book cover 4433121231886661091.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online
      Extent: 154p.
      Reprinted: 1982 , 1984 , 1988 , 1989 , 1990 , 1992
      ISBN: 0330270044
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Toronto, Ontario,
      c
      Canada,
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Vintage ,
      1996 .
      image of person or book cover 5538622082091873709.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 154p.
      ISBN: 0679767932
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Vintage ,
      1999 .
      image of person or book cover 3632906721095649689.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 154p.
      ISBN: 0099273845
Alternative title: Ett forvandlat liv
Language: Swedish
    • Malmo,
      c
      Sweden,
      c
      Scandinavia, Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Forum ,
      1981 .
      Extent: 151p.
      ISBN: 9137074180

Works about this Work

The Ideology of Exile in an Imaginary Life Hasti Abbasi , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , June vol. 31 no. 1 2017; (p. 16-25)

'According to Said, exile is a condition of terminal loss, "an unhealable rift forced between a human being and a native place, between the self and its true home," which involves "the crippling sorrow of estrangement" (173). According to Homi Bhabha, "colonial mimicry is, among other things, the desire for a reformed, recognizable Other, as a subject of a difference that is almost the same, but not quite" (86). [...]Ovid needs to integrate himself with the other to experience a meaningful life and sense of belonging. According to Robert Massey and Khawla Abu-Baker, "The I of each person actively coordinates the me into a self-image based on past and present experiences and future anticipations of self with others" (14).' (Publication abstract)

Writing and Romantic Exile Hasti Abbasi , Stephanie Green , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: TEXT Special Issue Website Series , October no. 41 2017;

'This paper will investigate creative dislocation and the idea of the writer as exiled self through reflections on the traction and slippages between ideas of place, dislocation and writing. For a writer, producing creative work through the experience of dislocation, whether voluntary or enforced, can be isolating and difficult, but it can also bring new perspectives and opportunities for creative capacity and expression. The creative resonances of writing in exile will be explored here with reference to David Malouf’s celebrated novella An Imaginary Life (1978) in which he depicts exile as a necessary journey of becoming, a ‘dynamic marginality’ as Braidotti observes (2002: 129), which offers creative possibility rather than closure and loss. For the writer Ovid, dislocation is phenomenological prerequisite for selftransformation. His discovery is that the writer must always be at the edge of things, noticing differently, available to possibility, able to embody and to channel being as metamorphoses through creative expression.' (Publication abstract)

Provocatively Calm : On David Malouf as Essayist Patrick Allington , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: TEXT Special Issue Website Series , no. 39 2017;
''This article examines the essays of David Malouf, many of which have been recently collected in three thematic volumes: A First Place (2014a), The Writing Life (2014b) and Being There (2015). My starting point is to argue that Malouf’s most important essays are politically charged. As a writer-activist he posits distinctive, sometimes controversial, positions, arguing strongly and passionately for alternative ways of thinking about Australia and the world, and indeed alternative ways for human beings to move through, and participate in, the world. However, Malouf is no firebrand: the tone of his essays is relentlessly calm; he brings together the emphatic and the empathetic, and he still tries to convince the reader. This article focuses on the political implications of Malouf’s calm but opinionated approach to his essays, as well as on how Malouf sets out to persuade readers. (Introduction)
Book Culture, A Delicate Balance David Malouf , 2016 single work essay
— Appears in: #SaveOzStories 2016;

'The ecology of a culture may be as fragile, as precariously balanced, as the one we call Nature. We should be very sure of how that balance has been achieved and continues to work before we think of adjusting or ‘improving’ it.' (Introduction)

Australia and the Post-Colonial Novel Helen Andrews , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: Quadrant , October vol. 59 no. 10 2015; (p. 70-73)
[Review] An Imaginary Life Kate Eldred , 1978 single work review
— Appears in: New Republic , 13 May no. 178 1978; (p. 36)

— Review of An Imaginary Life : A Novel David Malouf , 1978 single work novel
[Review] An Imaginary Life Helen McNeil , 1978 single work review
— Appears in: New Statesman , 15 September no. 96 1978; (p. 338)

— Review of An Imaginary Life : A Novel David Malouf , 1978 single work novel
[Review] An Imaginary Life Rowe Portis , 1978 single work review
— Appears in: Library Journal , 1 March no. 103 1978; (p. 587)

— Review of An Imaginary Life : A Novel David Malouf , 1978 single work novel
The Parable of the Child and the Nose Geoffrey Dutton , 1978 single work review
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 17 October vol. 99 no. 5131 1978; (p. 75-76)

— Review of An Imaginary Life : A Novel David Malouf , 1978 single work novel
Printout Helen Frizell , 1978 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 20 May 1978; (p. 17)

— Review of An Imaginary Life : A Novel David Malouf , 1978 single work novel
Culture and Identity : Politics and Writing in Some Recent Post-Colonial Texts Gareth Griffiths , 1992 single work criticism
— Appears in: From Commonwealth to Post-Colonial 1992; (p. 436-443)
Problems of Historicity in David Malouf's An Imaginary Life Peter Morton , 2000 single work criticism
— Appears in: Classical & Modern Literature , vol. 20 no. 1 2000; (p. 1-17)
David Malouf's An Imaginary Life : A Return to the Very Edge of Memory, History and the Multicultural Self M. Dolores Herrero , 2002 single work criticism
— Appears in: Narrativa i Historia 2002; (p. 37-59)
Explores the relationship between history, autobiography and fiction in Malouf's novel.
Constructing the Post-Colonial Male Body Bill Ashcroft , 1998 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Body in the Library 1998; (p. 207-223)

Discusses the representations of the male body and identity in Australian art and literature.

David Malouf's Language of Reconciliation : Stylistic Patterns in An Imaginary Life Brendan Rodda , 2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: Literature and Aesthetics , June vol. 14 no. 1 2004; (p. 49-66)
Uses a linguistic model to analyse the lexico-grammar of two excerpts from Malouf's novel and to show 'Malouf's brilliance in crafting language to convey the theme of the novel' (65).
Last amended 12 Mar 2018 13:38:56
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